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Thank you so much to everyone who replied. While it is good to know there is a name for why my daughter's dad is so "cold" and "odd" (common terms from people who have met him), it breaks my heart that this is not something that will change for her future. She always says how much it hurts her and bothers her that she has no "bond" with him. Knowing that she never will is tough. I had hoped that he could be told about it by the therapist and maybe he would accept it, but knowing his personality (he was originally diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality disorder)... that probably won't happen and it doesn't sound as if it would make enough difference to make it worth the risk of upsetting him and sending him on the warpath. I don't want to do anything that may hurt my daughter more, or cause her any further friction or distance in the fragile realtionship with her dad.
I can't tell you how wonderful and comforting it has been to be able to see such supportive and helpful comments and replies here. I really appreciate the suggestions and support tremendously. I feel shellshocked and, most of all, my heart just breaks for my daughter. She has gotten to the point that she dreads visits with dad because she says she feels so absolutely alone and isolated. She says she tries to connect with him, but there is just nothing there to connect to. As a gifted child already battling OCD -- she is truly challenged, as his behavior seems to aggravate her OCD rituals. Especially the perfectionism, negative self-talk and her issues with being able to be assertive and have healthy self-esteem. She gets very angry and keeps saying that she is never "good enough" in his eyes. (if she gets a "B" on a paper at school, it triggers an immediate lecture). Perfection is demanded of her always, in all situations.
When she has been ill, he barely notices and seems to not get that either -- just asks if she is "throwing up yet" and if she is not, he doesn't register that anything else could be wrong with her. It's like there is no sympathy whatsoever for her. Just, "suck it up." Is this also common? I am so confused now that I don't know what to "write off" as the AS and what not to. Also... how do you handle that? What I mean is, in trying to explain all of this to her -- it's really getting challenging trying not to sound as if I'm dismissing her feelings myself by blaming it all on AS. I find myself sounding like AS = free pass to treat you like dirt. I do not want her to feel like I'm excusing it all and saying she should be "ok" with it.

She has attempted to talk with him about this several times herself. The times she has approached him and attempted to explain how his behavior affects her and makes her feel... and even when she has been devastated and broken down sobbing, his only response is to stare blankly through her -- almost with an inquisitive type of expression. I know that sounds crazy, but it's truly the only way I can think to describe it. If you've seen it -- it probably makes sense to you.

I realize now that he does not deliberately hurt her -- but she gets upset with me and keeps saying that I can't understand what she is going through when she is with him. I guess she is right. I have never known anyone with AS before. :o(

I think I will take everyone's advice here and just keep working with her on her understanding of AS, leaving him to the therapist's discretion about it. I ordered a book online for her titled "something different about dad" about a family coping with AS. It is fictional in nature, but takes a more light-hearted approach with real-life scenarios, from what the reviews say. It said it's specifically for her age group. I think we will read it together when it comes. She is also looking for any online support groups for kids like her. Anyone know of any? Does anyone have any other resources to suggest in the way of literature, or groups, etc that might prove helpful for her? I just don't want her to feel so alone. And since I can't directly relate -- I would love to show support by reaching out to those who can. Maybe that way she won't feel so empty and angry in her quest for understanding.

Thanks again everyone. You are like a light in the dark for us.

October 12, 2012 - 10:35pm


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